Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni and the country’s Prime Minister John Patrick Amama Mbabazi on Tuesday joined hundreds of thousands of pilgrims in celebrating the Uganda Martyrs Day in Namugongo, a suburb in the Ugandan capital, Kampala.
Whereas in recent years President Museveni prayed at the Catholic shrine, his Prime Minister attended the service at the Anglican shrine, however, the two leaders both attended the mass at the Catholic shrine.
The attendance together of the two leaders comes amidst media speculation that the Prime Minister intends to contest against his boss for the country’s top job come 2016 when the presidential elections will be held.
The PM has since denied harboring any such intentions.
In his speech, the president who is a known Pan-Africanist, acknowledged Martyrs Day as a pan-African event by mentioning the varied flag representation at Namugongo.
He urged religious leaders not just look on when there is poverty and underdevelopment in their dioceses.
The president also committed government support to the Martyrs event.
About The Martyrs
The Uganda Martyrs are a group of 23 Anglican and 22 Catholic converts to Christianity in Uganda, who were executed between November 1885 and January 1887.
They were killed on orders of Buganda Kingdom Kabaka Mwanga II. The deaths took place at a time when there was a three-way religious struggle for political influence at the Buganda royal court.
The Catholic Church beautified the martyrs of its faith in 1920 and canonized them in 1964.
The first pilgrims to Namugongo were 5 in 1920. Today the number has grown to over 1 Million ever year